Ayyappa devotees will be getting specially designed ‘mandapam’ for performing bhajanas, namajapa or any other pilgrimage-related cultural activities at the Sabarimala Sannidhanam soon.
The Travancore Devaswom Board (TDB) has already started construction work on five bhajana mandapams so that it would be ready for commissioning well before the beginning of the next pilgrim season in mid-November.
According to TDB sources, the ₹44-lakh project, launched under the Central pilgrim tourism scheme, would be of great help to the devotees who wish to conduct bhajans at Sabarimala without disturbing the pilgrims waiting in queues at the lower tirumuttom or inside the valiya nadappanthal to enter the temple during heavy rush days.
Stone and wood
All the mandapams are being planned in stone and wood.
Two mandapams are coming up at Paandithavalom and one each at Jyoti Nagar and in the yard situated close by the NSS Hospital and the Sabari Guest House.
The TDB works department has also launched the work on 18 drinking water fountains (kiosks) at Sabarimala, Pampa, and on the trekking route for supplying safe potable water to the pilgrims.
As many as five well-defined fountains will be set up on the Sannidhanam premises while 10 others on the trekking routes.
Three drinking water fountains are coming up at Pampa too in the foothills under the Central tourism scheme estimated at a total of ₹1 crore.
Meanwhile, the TDB started work on the proposed Santhi madhom at Malikappuram to accommodate the priests at the Malikappuram Devi temple on Monday.
The construction work would be over in the next four months, board sources said.
The repair work on the flood-ravaged Pampa bathing ghats too is fast progressing so as to complete before the Onam festival season.